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Car Battery Cable Replacement: All What You Need to Know

How To Know If A Car Battery Is Dead

Car battery cable replacement involves preparing necessary tools, removing the terminals, removing the battery, disconnecting the old cables, installing the new ones, reinstall the battery, and testing the vehicle. 

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Battery cables are one of the very critical components of your electrical system. They are responsible for transferring electrical power from the battery to all the electrical system including any components requiring electrical charge.

Overtime of use, battery cables can get damaged due to corrosion internally and externally. While corrosion can be cleaned up frequently, there are situations where corrosion can be severe, and the only option for you is to replace the car batteries.

It's very important to ensure that the batteries are not corroded because corrosion can affect their ability to transmit the electrical current, which can cause some hiccups when driving the vehicle. In some severe scenarios, you might not even be able to start the car.

Since the cables are not very expensive, automotive experts recommend that drivers learn how to replace them themselves to save on labor costs. The process is not very complicated and doesn't take a lot of time and effort.

This article provides you with detailed guidance on how to replace your battery cable yourself safely and without introducing any damages. 

Car battery cable replacement pulling a step by step guidance 

Although replacing the car battery cables is not a complicated job, you must ensure that you have the minimum necessary mechanical skill sets. A good start would be to watch some YouTube tutorials or videos to see how the process looks. Once you are comfortable that you are ready to do it, go ahead. If you are not, then you'd better reach out to a professional mechanic instead. 

Let's take a closer look below at the step by step guidance on how to replace your car battery by yourself without needing a professional: 

  • Get all necessary toolsets 

Before we even start explaining how to replace the car battery, you need to get all necessary equipment ready to prevent wasting time looking for tools.

  • In general, you will need the following items:
  • New cables matching the old cables
  • Diagonal cutter
  • Battery terminal cleaning tool
  • Battery cleaner
  • Your vehicle's owner’s manual 
  • And some basic hand tools 

While the vehicle's owner’s manual is not a tool, it is necessary to refer to it every time you feel lost. The manual will give you detailed information about the type of cables needed, and it can help you learn how to take out your battery and disconnect the old cables.

  • Inspect the battery and its components 

Before disconnecting any cable, it is important to look at the battery and see how things are connected. Check where the faulty cable is located and what it is connecting to.

Make sure that you compare the old cables to their brand-new cables to prevent choosing the right cables unless you purchased some universal cables that work for any battery. 

  • Start with disconnecting the negative terminal 

According to automotive experts, the typical practice of disconnecting any better should remove the negative terminal first. The reason for that is to prevent any electrical shocks and injuries when working with a dangerous electrical component like the vehicle's battery. 

In most vehicles, the negative battery terminal should be black unless it's specified differently in your vehicle's owner’s manual. You should also identify the negative terminal by locating a negative sign on this terminal. Once you figure out where the negative terminal is located, you can go ahead and disconnect it.

  • Follow by disconnecting the positive terminal 

After making sure that the negative terminal was disconnected, your next step is to navigate and find the positive terminal to disconnect it. Disconnecting the positive terminal should be done in the same fashion as the negative terminal. 

  • Carefully lift the battery and take it out of the engine 

Once the terminals are disconnected, check for any other securing mechanisms around the battery Turn move them. Once the battery is completely disconnected from anything around it, you can go ahead and lift it carefully away from the engine block. 

  • Locate the cables and disconnect them 

Once the battery is sitting on a flat surface, you can navigate and find the cables. Locate the faulty cable and disconnect. Negative cables are connected to the engine, while positive cables are usually connected to the starter or, sometimes, the fuse box. 

  • Confirm that you purchased the right cables 

Although we mentioned this before, we like to repeat and make sure you're fully aware of what you've purchased. You must have identical cables before installing them. In some scenarios, some mechanics might sell you a universal cable that works for any vehicle. In that case, you don't have to worry about this step. A good start all the time is to compare the battery cables that you purchased to what's referred to in your vehicle's owner’s manual. 

Keep in mind that universal cables are not always ready to be connected. You might need to trim them and make sure that you have the right cable length before connecting them, and that's where you need the diagonal cutter. 

Lastly, even if one cable was faulty, it might be worth looking closely at the second cable to see if it needs replacement. Sometimes the other cable will get bad very soon, and since you already removed the battery from its compartments, it might make sense for you to replace both cables. 

  • Connect the new cables 

In the opposite way of disconnecting the old cables, you can connect the new cables while ensuring they are secured and connected in the right manner. One important thing to keep in mind here is to make sure that you're working on a safe and clean service so dirt and contaminants do not make their way to the new cables, which might cause premature corrosion

  • Put the battery back 

Once the cables are connected successfully, it is time to put everything back in the opposite direction to the way you disassemble them. 

Once the battery is connected, ensure that you will perform a quick clean-up to the battery itself and the battery terminals to prevent any corrosion from building up prematurely. 

There are certain ways that you might need to search for on how to clean the battery carefully with the right material. Since you already spend the time and effort replacing the battery cable, it makes sense for you also to spend some time cleaning the battery and its cables. 

  • Give you a vehicle a quick test drive 

At this point, you should be done with the entire job, and you can go ahead and give your vehicle a quick test drive. Whatever problems you notice before should not exist at this point. Everything should work normally, and if the car was not starting before, it should start again. 

If there seems to be anything wrong, it might be a complicated issue requiring a professional mechanic. Thus, reach out to your repair shop and see if they can help you finalize the job. 

How much does it cost to replace battery cables? 

Battery cable replacement costs range from $277 and $295. Labor cost is a huge component in the battery cable replacement cost, and it ranges from $71 to $89.

Keep in mind that labor costs can differ significantly depending on the location you get to the top-down. For instance, if you go to a small repair shop, the price can be much lower than going to a dealership. Of course, if you know that your extended warranty covers car battery replacement costs, then you should go ahead and do it at the dealership since you'll be dealing with experienced mechanics who have the job many times and they know exactly what they're doing. 

That's why most automotive experts recommend that to perform the battery replacement by yourself to save on labor costs. However, as we indicated before, you don't want to attempt this job unless you're 100% comfortable that you can do it right without introducing any damages to the battery and the other surrounding components. 

Does AutoZone replace battery cables? 

Yes, AutoZone provides different services for better cable replacements. For instance, if you're interested in only replacing individual cables, you will find something. Also, if you're interested in replacing complete battery terminals, there are plenty of kids to choose from. 

Many automotive experts recommend AutoZone as the first step for anyone searching for car battery replacement. 

How long does it take to replace battery cables? 

It depends. For instance, if you are getting the battery replacement done at a repair shop, they should get the job done in about one hour. Of course, depending on how busy the repair shop or the dealership, you might have some waiting time to deal with. That's why it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to make sure you're not wasting unnecessary time. 

However, if you're planning to do their placement yourself, it might be a little more time-consuming than what you think, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

On the other hand, if you are comfortable replacing your vehicle's battery cables and you've done it before, it shouldn't take you more than one hour. 

When should you replace battery cables? 

There is no specific mileage or time to replace the battery cables; It all depends on your own circumstances. For instance, you might need to look for symptoms of bad battery cables and watch for those.

There are situations where the battery cables can be severely corroded. You will notice it from very clear symptoms like difficulty starting or issues starting any of the electrical components in your vehicle. 

If you realize any of these symptoms, you must go ahead, and 1st about it cables to prevent getting stuck in nowhere without any help. 

Can AutoZone test battery cables? 

While you can test your vehicle's battery by yourself using a faulty meter, some drivers prefer to visit AutoZone to get the battery cables tested for free.

Understanding the basics of how the battery works can help you determine when it goes bad. By performing some simple visual inspection, you can check for any symptoms or signs of corrosion around the battery terminals, which indicates an issue with the cables or in terminals. 

Can a positive battery cable go bad? 

Definitely, any battery cable can go bad, and none of them are problems free. If corrosions happened to one side, it could also affect the other side easily.

Thus, when dealing with any symptoms of a bad battery cable, it is important to consider checking the negative cable and doing a thorough inspection to the positive cable. 


While the battery cables are not the primary component of your electrical system, they play a major role in ensuring that power is transferred successfully from the battery to the components.

Over time of use, battery cables can get heavily corroded, which means that they need a replacement immediately.

Replacing the battery cables should not be a complicated job and doesn't take a lot of time and effort.

If you feel that your vehicles problem is not coming from bad battery cables only, it might be the right time now to think about evaluating the current and see whether it's worth selling it instead of wasting time and effort fixing it.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated companies that accept your vehicle not only if it has battery cables problems, but also it has significant damages in the electrical system or even the engine.

Our company is a 24-hour car removal company which means that we work evenings, weekends, and same day if you are interested. 

To learn more about our process and our team, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.

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